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13 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Retailers in epic fight – Landlords feel the power of online disruption

(13 January 2018, AFR, p40, by Tony Boyd) ‘Shopping centre landlords are starting to feel the disruptive power of online shopping as an increasing number of troubled retailers rebel against exorbitant rents. Bricks and mortar retailers hit by changing consumer shopping habits say they can no longer afford to meet lease commitments with built in … Continue reading

13 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Australian shares end downbeat week with marginal gains

(13 January 2018, AFR, p27, by Sarah Turner) ‘Australian shares ended with slight gains on Friday but lost ground over the week, with an advance in the mining sector not enough to offset weakness in consumer staples and real estate stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 2 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to … Continue reading

13 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Contagion risk embedded in big bond bubble

(13 January 2018, AFR, p25, by Christopher Joye) ‘Is the fixed-rate government bond market – to be distinguished from floating-rate securities – in the mother-of-all bubbles? Very likely. Has it burst? Maybe, although the evidence is not persuasive. As it normalises, will it cause mayhem in other sectors? Probably. Let’s start with a primer. Markets are very … Continue reading

12 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Bond ice age thaw will send shockwaves through global markets

(12 January 2018, AFR, p29, by Ambrose Evans- Pritchard) ‘Each super-cycle for bonds over the past two centuries has lasted the span of a career. The tide is immensely powerful. When it turns, the world economic system faces what amounts to a regime change.’ ‘The current “ice age” – to borrow from Albert Edwards at … Continue reading

12 Jan 2018 (AFR) – UK pension funds sell down stocks on market bubble warning

(12 January 2018, AFR, p28, by Sarah Jones) ‘If the basic tenet of investing is knowing when to buy and sell, the stock market boom has taken that decision out of the hands of some money managers. The $US2.9 trillion British pension fund industry is yanking money at an accelerated pace as company valuations forge … Continue reading

12 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Investors uneasy after yield spike in US 10-year bonds

(12 January 2018, AFR, p1, 25, by Sarah Turner) ‘This week’s spike in 10-year US treasury yields appeared to take markets by surprise and left some investors wondering if the move is a foretaste of a more volatile year to come for global asset markets. The yield for 10-year US treasuries climbed to a 10-month high … Continue reading

12 Jan 2018 (TheAge) – ‘Astronomical’: New iPhone X pushes retail sales sky high

(12 January 2018, The Age, p5, Peter Martin) ‘So big was the spending splurge on the new iPhone X that it pushed pre-Christmas retail sales to a record high in November, confounding expectations of a weak lead in to Christmas. Market economists had forecast a lift of 0.4 per cent in November. Instead, sales shot up … Continue reading

11 Jan 2018 (AFR) – How long can this share market boom last? – It’s all about the psychology

(11 January 2018, AFR, p28, by Karen Maley) ‘As investors try to work out how long this stunning share market rally can possibly last, would they be better off consulting the history books, or even leafing through the annals of psychology, rather than listening to economists? The question occurred to me as I read the … Continue reading

11 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Online sales enjoy highest growth since 2014: NAB Online Retail Sales Index

(11 January 2018, AFR, p18, by Julie-anne Sprague) ‘Online retail sales have surged the most since December 2014, with the trend to buy via the web much stronger than this time last year, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI). Data released by NAB on Wednesday showed online sales jumped 4.7 per cent … Continue reading

11 Jan 2018 (AFR) – ANZ predicts property growth will slide to 1pc before rebounding in 2019

[COMMENT: How on earn can anyone make a prediction like this with any degree of accuracy? Economic forecasts (ie. predictions) are useful for governments and planning purposes; but are they useful for retail investors?] (11 January 2018, AFR, p4, by Duncan Hughes) ‘Residential property growth will slide to around 1 per cent in the second … Continue reading

11 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Foreign property buyer demand falls prompting warning from Harry Triguboff

(11 January 2018, AFR, p1, by: Matthew Cranston, Larry Schlesinger) ‘Government taxes and credit restrictions have started to hit foreign buyer demand for residential property so hard in Australia that major developers are either pulling out of the apartment market altogether or, like Meriton’s Harry Triguboff, are left grappling with Chinese investors who can’t settle … Continue reading

10 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Citi chief economist Willem Buiter warns of overdue correction

(10 January 2018, AFR, p28, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) ‘The air is becoming treacherously thin for global asset markets at the peak of the cycle and investors should cut their exposure before central banks shut off emergency stimulus, Citigroup’s star economist has warned. Willem Buiter, the bank’s chief economist and a leading theorist on monetary policy, said: … Continue reading

10 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Noni B defies retail headwinds as earnings fly

(10 January 2018, AFR, p15, by Yolanda Redrup) ‘As retailers are closing stores left, right and centre, there is one unlikely winner emerging in the space that seems to be bucking the trend. On Tuesday Noni B issued a trading update and said it was expecting a jump of more than 50 per cent in … Continue reading

10 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Job advertisements fall 2.3 per cent in December: ANZ

(10 January 2018, AFR, p6, by Tom McIlroy) ‘Newspaper and online job advertisements fell in December, suggesting Australia’s strong labour market could be cooling off despite recent gains. The latest ANZ monthly survey found a 2.3 per cent drop in job advertisements in December, after a 1.1 per cent increase was recorded in the previous … Continue reading

10 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Building approvals rise 11.7pc in November, beating expectations of 1pc decline

(10 January 2018, AFR, p5, by Duncan Hughes) ‘A surge in Melbourne apartment approvals helped push Victorian building approvals to record highs during November, despite signs of slowing in other sectors and regions around the nation, according to the latest government numbers. Oversupply, tougher lending conditions and patchy economic results are expected to slow approvals in … Continue reading

10 Jan 2018 (TheAge) – RFG shares slump as it warns on profit for second time in three weeks

[COMMENT: Here is another case study example to indicate that astute short term investors and traders would have protected their capital by selling the stock before the shock profit warnings. It is not possible to tell whether this stock will recover, or continue into oblivion and perhaps be snapped up by hedge funds or the … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – New ‘liar loans’ data reveal borrowers more stretched than some lenders suspect

(9 January 2018, AFR, p32, by Duncan Hughes) ‘One in five property borrowers are exaggerating their income and nearly half understating their spending, triggering new concerns about underwriting standards and vulnerability to sharp economic corrections, according to new analysis of loan applications by online property lender Tic:Toc Home Loans. The number of ‘liar loans’ exceeds … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – New Gold Coast high-rise boom fuels fears of another crash

(9 January 2018, AFR, p32, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games, high-rise apartment development on the Gold Coast is ramping up again, fuelling concerns about another crash in values, as happened between 2010 and 2012. Apartment values fell about 25 per cent during the two-year period – a combination of oversupply, overpricing and a … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Property Club investors stung with 45 pc mortgage repayment increases

(9 January 2018, AFR, p32, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘The founder of one of the country’s biggest property investment clubs says its 20,000 investors can’t afford their mortgage repayments after the banks shifted them from interest-only loans to principal-and-interest mortgages earlier than they expected.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – India’s tax overhaul unleashes logistics revolution

(9 January 2018, AFR, p31, by Simon Mundy in Nagpur) ‘Indian lorries are perhaps the world’s most colourful, typically smothered with gaudy artwork depicting anything from peacocks to Bollywood stars. But for all its aesthetic richness, India’s trucking system has long been a laggard in efficiency. A damning 2014 World Bank report warned that up … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Is the next financial crisis looming: Ross Barry

(9 January 2018, AFR, p26, by Ross Barry) ‘The strong performance of many share markets around the world has led many to speculate that another major correction may not be too far away. History has shown us, over the past 300 years or so, that major corrections have occurred every nine to 10 years, on … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Ripple effect creates rapid riches for some – Bitcoin competitor Ripple value climbs, almost beating Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

[COMMENT: Caution!! This news story is simply that – a reporting on some of what has been happening. This is NOT advice nor a recommendation of any sort. For whatever it is worth, in case the reader is wondering, I don’t invest in, or trade in, this type of asset.] (9 January 2018, AFR, p23, … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Amazon launch didn’t impact retail Christmas sales – Last-minute shopping spree rescues retailers’ Christmas

(9 January 2018, AFR, p2, by Jenny Wiggins) ‘Retail sales were “solid” over Christmas with retailers reporting minimal impact from the launch of US online giant Amazon, analysts say after dissecting the festive shopping season. Despite fears that Christmas shopping sales would be a “disaster” for many retailers after Amazon started shipping online in Australia … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (TheAge) – Growth in apartments keeps building boom going; but the building boom was softer in December

(9 December 2018, The Age, Business, p23, AAP) ‘Construction growth in Australia moderated slightly in December, but still expanded for an 11th month in a row. The Ai Group and Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index (PCI) eased 4.7 points to 52.8 points in December, remaining well above the 50-point level indicating expansion.’ Read … Continue reading

8 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Could Australia be mirroring Norway’s house price reversion?

(8 January 2018, AFR, p31, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Norway’s house prices are losing ground like Australia’s, adding to concerns that economic growth will be thrown off track and that banking regulators have gone too hard. Both housing markets have started to reverse in recent months, after a period of rapid growth in house prices and mortgage debt.’ Read … Continue reading

8 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Automation, smart technologies to drive industrial market in 2018

(8 January 2018, AFR, p31, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Australia’s industrial property landscape will undergo massive change in 2018, according to Travis Erridge, co-founder of specialist industrial property and supply chain consultancy TM Insight. Mr Erridge expects a new wave of automated and high bay warehouses – high tech sheds operated by robots rather than people … Continue reading

8 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Industrial property a hot commodity in 2018

(8 January 2018, AFR, p30, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘The once-humble industrial shed looks set to be one of the most sought after asset classes by real estate investors in 2018 as the growth in e-commerce drives up demand for modern logistics facilities. Prime industrial property in Western Sydney, where zoned land is scarce and rents … Continue reading

8 Jan 2018 (TheAge,SMH) – 2018 ‘the end’ of resources boom as commodity price drops bite

(8 January 2018, The Age, Business, p20, Jennifer Duke) ‘The government has forecast the end of the mining boom, with 2018 marking the tipping point for when producers will see export earnings heading south. In fiscal 2017, the resources and energy sector is tipped to see record high exports earnings. But this is expected to … Continue reading

6 Jan 2018 (AFR) – ASX sees 10-year high after record night on Wall Street

(6 January 2018, AFR, p27, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The Australian sharemarket finished the first week of 2018 at a decade-high 6122.30 points, buoyed by fresh records on Wall Street where the Dow Jones surpassed 25,000 points for the first time. The S&P/ASX 200 Index added 45 points or 0.74 per cent on Friday for a weekly … Continue reading

6 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Shares hit decade high as global stocks surged to record levels

(6 January 2018, AFR, p1, by: James Frost, Jonathan Shapiro) ‘The Australian sharemarket hit a 10-year high as global stocks surged to record levels in the first trading week of 2018, fuelled by euphoria on Wall Street and a rally in oil. While local stocks have failed to keep up with the frenetic pace set by … Continue reading